Tuscora Park: A summer tradition

Vintage amusement park rides. Three pools. Picnic pavilions and outdoor party shelters. Playgrounds and ponds. Miniature golf and batting cage facilities. An amphitheater for musical performances and dramatic productions. And, of course, concession stands serving cotton candy, cool beverages and grilled food.

Vintage amusement park rides. Three pools. Picnic pavilions and outdoor party shelters. Playgrounds and ponds. Miniature golf and batting cage facilities. An amphitheater for musical performances and dramatic productions. And, of course, concession stands serving cotton candy, cool beverages and grilled food.

tuscora4That doesn’t even take into account the natural surroundings,which park officials proudly refer to as “our beautiful green hillsides and shade trees.”

Welcome to Tuscora Park in New Philadelphia. It’s just a short drive down Interstate 77 from almost anywhere in Stark County. It may be out of sight and mind for many Canton area residents, but it’s certainly not a secret. Thousands of people enjoy the park each year between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

“Tuscora Park has earned a statewide reputation as an affordable place to come for family fun and entertainment,” says information at the entertainment destination’s page, newphilaoh.com. “Whether you take part in activities like swimming and tennis, have kids that love amusement rides, or want to enjoy an old fashioned evening band concert, Tuscora Park can provide your family a wonderful day of fun activities.”

tuscora7The park carries on a long tradition. According to a story published last year as part of a series of historical articles in The Times-Reporter of New Philadelphia, Tuscora Park was created by the Reeves family of Dover and opened on June 1, 1907. A swimming pool was one of the park’s first attractions. A carousel was built there in 1925. Jeremiah Reeves and his family operated the park until it was purchased by the city of New Philadelphia in 1915. The city still owns it.

“The park really has stayed about the same; It looks the same,” said Rod Miller, manager, who has worked at Tuscora Park for more than 40 years. “There is a new swimming pool. But, the Ferris wheel and the carousel are the same as what was here in the 1940s.”

tuscora5Today the park is a community park, with a twist.

“There aren’t too many community parks where you can go in the middle of the week to ride a carousel for 75 cents,” said Miller. “On the weekends, it’s only a dollar.”

Among other rides are a kiddie coaster and small train. Children can enjoy trips on circling swings, rising and diving airplanes and an assortment of other amusement park rides. Three playgrounds surround the
park, and a nearby pond is “usually graced by seagulls, geese and ducks,” Tuscora Park’s website observes.

Tuscora Park opens in the summer at noon for miniature golf. Rides open at 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and at noon on Friday through Sunday. Closing is 9 p.m.

Miller said that local residents visit the park most frequently during the week. On weekends, there is an influx of visitors from throughout northeast and central Ohio.

“We do a lot of reunions; we’re booking out into 2017 already,” Miller noted. “The pools are always busy. The rides are busy.”

Frequently to end weekends during the park’s season, there are performances that are part of the Summer Showcase of Sunday concerts. Rock bands. Jazz. Country music. Children’s concerts. The amphitheater fills with sound. And, the community enthusiastically partakes.

“It’s all positive response from the community,” said Miller. “If we put something in the paper that we’re restoring something, such as the carousel, donations come in. The park is really well received.”

Where to buy

The Repository
Select Rite Aid Stores
Spee-D Foods
Buehler's Fresh Foods
Fishers Foods, including 44th Street NW, Tuscarawas St. W, Fulton Drive, Lincoln Way E. and Cleveland Ave. NW locations
Aultman Hospital Gift Shop
Mercy Medical Center Gift Shop
Gervasi Vineyard Marketplace
Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, downtown Canton and Belden Village Mall locations
News Depot
Avenue Arts Marketplace
Yum Yum Tree Alliance
Grapes in a Glass